Are you going on a weight loss diet after experiencing unexplained weight gain? Have you been feeling lethargic even though you’ve been exercising religiously? If you are getting on in years, the culprit may be your metabolism.
Your metabolism is a series of chemical processes in which your cells produce the energy needed to sustain life. The harder it works, the more energy your body burns. When your metabolism slows down, your body becomes less efficient at expending the calories you consume. One of the most disconcerting side effects is weight gain.
Of course, a weight loss diet alone won’t create miracles unless you pair it with lifestyle changes and getting plenty of sleep. But there are some metabolism-friendly foods that can form the optimal conditions for your body to shed pounds faster.
We’re not complaining – our taste buds would welcome these delicious options any day!
Cinnamon is more than just a seasoning you can use to enhance the taste of desserts. This unassuming spice also improves your body’s ability to respond to insulin. Why is this important?
After a meal, insulin is the hormone that convinces your cells to absorb broken-down sugars. Your insulin takes whatever isn’t absorbed and stores them for future use. In an insulin-sensitive body, this process requires less insulin and is accomplished faster, which helps you maintain a lean frame.
When you’re not insulin-sensitive, your cells aren’t listening to your insulin’s commands. Your body is forced to flood your bloodstream with more insulin to complete the work. More insulin in your bloodstream means more fat storage, and higher chance of abdominal weight gain.
Consuming cinnamon helps improve insulin sensitivity, enabling your body to metabolise sugar faster. No wonder so many desserts go well with cinnamon!
Tip: Use powdered Ceylon cinnamon in your hot beverages, cereals, salads and soups.
2. Green tea
Green tea has a modest thermogenic effect, meaning it can signal your body to generate more body heat, thereby increasing your calorie-burning rate. It also contains a buffet of antioxidants such as catechins, which suppresses the formation and deposition of fat.
But it’s no silver bullet. Green tea’s weight loss benefits are only worth mentioning when you include it as a part of a larger weight loss strategy. For starters, consider green tea as a healthier substitute for your fattening fruit juice and soda habit.
Tip: Drink two to three cups of green tea (without sugar) per day to fuel your metabolism and energy levels.
Broccoli is loaded with dietary fibre, minerals and proteins. These are crucial for combating various types of cancers and metabolic syndromes. In fact, scientific studies have found that broccoli extract can lower blood sugar levels and correct abnormal metabolism.
Tip: Add blanched broccoli in your salad, vegetable quinoa or make broccoli soup for dinner or lunch. In lieu of potato chips, reach for crunchy broccoli fritters.
Many people are under the impression that egg yolks cause cholesterol levels to spike. But here’s the truth. Your cholesterol levels increase when you consume too much trans fats from processed food sources. Eggs are anything but!
In fact, eggs are a protein powerhouse that keeps you satiated throughout the day for a fairly low amount of calories.
There’s also good reason why eggs are such a common workout staple: they include essential amino acids that enhance stamina and exercise performance. The yolk itself is rich in vitamins and omega-3 fats (the good type of fat). We need these for proper metabolic function!
Tip: Consuming one or two whole eggs per day will do you more good than harm. Keep the egg yolk – you’ll be missing out on a range of benefits.
5. Citrus fruits
We all know that citrus fruits like lemons are vessels of vitamin C, but do you also know that vitamin C switches on the genes that promote metabolic health?
Moreover, citrus fruits contain flavonoids. Flavonoids protect metabolically important organs (such as your liver and kidneys) from inflammation, ensuring smooth metabolic function. Research also shows that citrus fruits can boost insulin sensitivity.
Tip: Consume kiwis, lemons, oranges and pineapples in salads, marinades, or as they are. You can also squeeze a whole lime or half a lemon into a glass of your water for a quick vitamin C fix.
6. Goji berries
When your blood sugar rises and falls too quickly, it becomes a beacon for hunger hormones. Refined carbohydrates from rice and bread are common culprits that overwhelm your system with bursts of blood sugar, only to bring it back down just as suddenly.
A good weight loss diet keeps your blood sugar levels constant, and the goji berry is one of such foods. Because it is low-glycemic, your body requires a longer time to convert the goji berry into blood sugar.
Tip: Add goji berries to your breakfasts, smoothies, or eat them as a snack. But everything in moderation! Berries are generally sweeter than most other fruits; too much of them can backfire on your blood sugar levels.
According to a new research review, ginger as a supplement or ingredient is a strong deterrent of obesity. Similar to caffeine in green tea, the capsaicin found in ginger is a natural thermogenic that fires up your metabolism.
That’s not all. In another 2012 study, researchers found out that ginger significantly promoted feelings of fullness in overweight people. What better way to get your appetite under control?
Tip: Add ginger to your salad dressings, curries, and stews. You can also toss half an inch of raw ginger along with the juice of a lime into your first glass of water in the morning.
There is good reason why garlic should be a fixture in any well-stocked larder.
On top of its versatility and amazing aroma, garlic makes your body more sensitive to insulin. Garlic also produces a thermogenic effect similar to that of ginger’s. It quite literally heats up your body to a state that is more conducive for a good metabolic burn.
Tip: Whip garlic into your soup, grilled chicken or stir-fried greens. You can even roast garlic with the skin on, and squeeze out the sweet, fragrant paste onto wholewheat toast soldiers for a snack.
How to make dieting a useful weight loss strategy
Even though incorporating these foods into your weight loss diet won’t hurt, placing too much faith on any one type of food is never advisable, if only because it deprives you of a balanced diet. They are also unlikely to produce substantial weight loss benefits if they are not implemented as part of an overall change in lifestyle.
This means it is just as important to draw the line at unhealthy foods that range from the deep-fried, to the processed, to the sweetened.
Let us know in the comments how these 8 foods have worked for you.
Have you tried going on periods of dieting, only to see your weight rebound again and again? Remember: A weight loss diet is only one part of the equation. For most people, the metabolism naturally slows down with age, regardless of how well they eat or how much they exercise. Moreover, a slow metabolism usually suggests that there issues that extend beyond the type and portion of food you’re eating.
If you are looking for a safe, fast and yet natural long-term solution for your metabolism, you may want to consider our signature CSH therapy® program. Using a traditional Chinese approach, CSH therapy® is a three-step program which involves cupping therapy, scraping therapy and heat treatment.
When combined with sensible eating and sufficient rest, this treatment can supercharge your metabolism to produce up to 4-6kg of weight loss a month*.
Since 2002, we have helped thousands of clients achieve their ideal weight with a 99 per cent success rate. Make the first step and book a consultation today, or read more about what our CSH therapy® program is about.
*Results may vary between individuals.